Power should stem the Fury

Sunday News - - BOXING - DUN­CAN JOHN­STONE IN MANCH­ESTER

OPIN­ION: If Joseph Parker can take the com­po­sure he’s shown dur­ing fight week into the ring on fight night he should go well.

Parker has looked ev­ery bit the cham­pion as he has pa­raded his WBO­belt around Lon­don and Manch­ester, earn­ing warm re­spect and keep­ing a cool de­meanour un­der some try­ing cir­cum­stances.

The weigh-in scuf­fle was a clas­sic case of Parker get­ting a men­tal edge over Fury on the eve of the fight, smil­ing off the chal­lenger’s per­sis­tent taunts and qui­etly de­liv­er­ing the pay­out line that even­tu­ally saw the English­man snap.

It was an oc­ca­sion that also gave Parker some idea of what awaits in the Manch­ester Arena.

There was a de­cent crowd at the Na­tional Foot­ball Mu­seum in the heart of this sports-mad city for the weigh-in.

They warmed to their lo­cals on the un­der­card as the lightweights and mid­dleweights stepped on to the scales.

It ramped up for the ar­rival of the heavy­weights though.

They were cour­te­ous to Parker as he ar­rived, just as they have been ev­ery­where he has gone.

But once Fury stepped up on stage, things took on an­other di­men­sion.

It got loud and it got ugly. There were taunts and slurs and Fury’s fans were egging him on to do some­thing rad­i­cal which he duly obliged.

Those same pas­sion­ate fans will be bay­ing for Parker’s blood as he en­ters the arena and climbs be­tween the ropes.

This is new ter­ri­tory for Parker who is usu­ally the star of the show in the com­forts of home in New Zealand or in Samoa. In his fights in the United States and Ger­many he’s been an un­der­card act.

He’s the main event in Manch­ester, a fighter in en­emy ter­ri­tory, the man car­ry­ing the world cham­pi­onship belt that ev­ery­one wants re­turned to the Furys and the north­ern city.

They are a pas­sion­ate mob here and they are used to suc­cess from their first fam­ily of box­ing.

Parker has been rel­ish­ing his new sur­round­ings. He liked Lon­don and ap­pre­ci­ated the in­creased at­ten­tion he got daily as the fight got nearer and nearer. Things were very civil in Manch­ester too, un­til now.

Parker is here to get known and he’s made a good start in that quest with his de­meanour out of the ring but it’s only ac­tions in the ring that will prove his point.

Logic sug­gests Parker, with his su­pe­rior ex­pe­ri­ence, ac­tiv­ity and power should win this fight. But logic has a ten­dency to go out the win­dow when it comes to box­ing, espe­cially the heavy­weight ranks where one punch can truly make a dif­fer­ence.

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